Chris Lane Risk-Taking: 'You Have to Understand When it's a Bad Idea to do Something Crazy' - Major League Fishing

Chris Lane Risk-Taking: ‘You Have to Understand When it’s a Bad Idea to do Something Crazy’

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April 13, 2018 • Joel Shangle • Select Events

COLUMBIA, South Carolina – Growing up in the Lane household in Lakeland, Florida, you had to be competitive. Among three athletic brothers born a total of 32 months apart, childhood was a series of daily contests for Major League Fishing Select pro Chris Lane and his older brothers Bobby and Arnie.

“Didn’t matter what it was, we were always competing with each other: pool, cards, golf, fishing, you name it,” Chris admits. “That’s probably pretty natural with three brothers about the same age, but, man, did we have some knock-down battles with one another.”

And it clearly paid off in the Lane Brothers’ fishing careers. Chris is a seven-time B.A.S.S. winner and the 2012 Bassmaster Classic Champion; Bobby is MLF’s defending General Tire World Champion; Arnie has rung up multiple Top 10s competing in various levels of both B.A.S.S. and FLW.

For Chris – the youngest – keeping up with his big brothers fostered a competitive quality that the 43-year-old is still learning to manage to this day.

“Arnie was always better at golf, Bobby was always really, really good at fishing, I was better at taking a risk,” Lane says. “Didn’t matter if it was work, fishing, golf, I was the risk-taker of the group. Bobby has always been an excellent golfer, and he was always better at it when we were kids. The only time I could ever beat him was if I just went for it and took some risky shots. It worked sometimes, and sometimes not so much.”

The same could be said of Chris’ professional fishing career, where he’s amassed 28 Top 10 finishes but also finished 90th or lower in 17 events.

“There were some events – especially early in my career – where I was just trying to get a paycheck,” Lane says. “I’d take these risks and end up in the Top 12, or I’d totally miss and end up somewhere in the 90s. I’ve had to develop the combination of maturity and experience to know when to take a risk, and when not to. You almost have to do something extraordinary to win these events, but you do have to understand when it’s a bad idea to do something crazy.”

That’s been part of Lane’s MLF learning process as well. In contrast to a four-day cumulative-weight competition – a format that Lane says encourages more risky decision-making – the single-day, head-to-head format of an MLF round tends to reward consistency.

“When you’re trying to get on SCORETRACKER and keep yourself in contention to advance, you don’t tend to go for the gusto quite as hard,” he says. “Your goal here is different. You’re trying to beat the guys you’re competing against that particular day, so you’re focused more on just getting bites.

“You’ll hit these stretches throughout an event where you have a window to pick up a bigger bait to try to crack that 5- or 6-pounder, but you have to be careful about that. Sports fans remember the guy who wins the game, they don’t remember the guy who took a big risk and finished last.”